Wednesday, October 28, 2020

When Copy/Paste is a No-No

The J. S. Paluch Subscriber Resource Center has numerous features designed for the convenience of the user. One of these is the “Preview” that is available for the text files that you can download. Because the text files are not in a format that is viewable in your web browser the same way that image files are, the designers of the SRC came up with the Preview as a way for you to see the content of text files before you download them. You access the Preview by clicking on (Preview) in the box that appears above the name of the text file in any search results page. The Preview is intended to give you a good idea of what is in the text file, but it is intended for viewing only.

These Previews are machine-generated text streams that are stripped of all formatting and do not undergo the proofing process that the actual downloadable text files undergo. This means that they are subject to showing errors or hidden text or characters that are not present in the formatted and proofed files that you can download from the SRC. This is especially an issue with accents and special characters that are used regularly in the Spanish files. Here is one recent example of hidden text that showed up in a Preview. This text was not present in the formatted downloadable files.

It is technically possible to copy and paste the text from these Previews, and even tempting to do so, but because of the potential for errors as seen above, this practice is discouraged. The proper way to use the text files provided on the SRC is to download the file that you want onto your computer. From there you can copy and paste the content of the file any way that you want, confident that it will be an accurate version of the text that we have prepared for you.

Direct copying and pasting from the SRC preview may be an easy shortcut, but it can also lead to mistakes and headaches. It is definitely a “no-no.”

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